Gauteng Game and Nature ReservesThe Mountain Sanctuary Park
Mountain Sanctuary Park is aptly named, for it is every bit the restful and refreshing space in which to reconnect with nature it professes to be. One heads to Mountain Sanctuary Park to refresh the soul and re-invigorate one's sense of self.
Open to the public for over 40 years, it covers 1000 hectares of land up above the Grootfontein Valley, 120 km west of Johannesburg in the heart of the Magaliesberg.
Mountain Sanctuary Park is a private nature reserve with an 'off the beaten track' approach to their offering. You will not find restricted and guided hikes and set routes, but rather the freedom to wander the wilderness in amongst clear mountain pools and rock formations.
It is great for hiking. Explore from Perderwater Groot, or Fountain Pools, where the rock formations are particularly striking. From there you can walk into the mountains, taking the odd dip in the rock pools and streams.
For mountain bikers the reserve is every bit as energising with routes like Breedt's Neck Mountain Pass to test the mettle of hard-core riders, and Barnardsvlei Road route for those after less of a challenge.
But many come simply to sit under the shade of a tree with a book to reconnect with nature, occasionally swimming in the West Pools - a mere 15 minutes from the campsite, which restricts noise and daily numbers in the park (did we mention that it is not overcrowded and that noise of any kind after 9pm is not tolerated – your kind of space?, I know it is mine).
Reception does sell wood, ice and the odd drink and ice-cream, but otherwise it is advisable to bring your own, particularly as there are braai facilities throughout the campsite and around the swimming pool (from which there are gorgeous views across the valley).
Warning: go for at least two nights, or you will leave feeling deprived.
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